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Personal Support Specialist (PSS) - Overview

The Personal Support Specialist (PSS) is designed for unlicensed entry-level workers. Successful completion of this course satisfies Departmental training requirements for direct care workers for certain home care programs and residential care facilities.

The PSS curriculum is a standard curriculum and replaces any programs previously approved for Personal Care Attendants (PCA's) and Residential Care Specialist I's (RCS I's) prior to September 1, 2003.

Anyone with a PCA certificate may continue to work as a PCA after September 1, 2003, and is not required to take the PSS curriculum in the home health care arena. Anyone with an RCS I certificate may continue to work in residential care settings after September 1, 2003, and is not required to take the PSS curriculum. However, in order for a PCA to crossover to a residential care facility or for an RCS I to cross over to a home care program, they must successfully complete the PSS curriculum.

If you are a Level I or Level II Assisted Housing Program or a Waivered Home through the Office of Adult with Cognitive and Physical Disabilities, there may be medication administration requirements necessary within the Maine Care Manual that must be followed. Please contact them at 1-800-321-5557

Level IV residential care facilities must have unlicensed personnel (other than C.N.A.'s) trained in a course approved by the Department when job responsibilities include direct service to residents for at least twenty (20) hours per week. Training must be completed within 120 days of hiring.

Certain Level IV facilities whose primary purpose is to care for persons with severe mental illness or mental retardation may be approved to have alternative training. If you have any questions regarding your facility, contact the Office of Adults with Cognitive and Physical Disabilities at (207) 287-4242, or Christine Robinson in the Office of Adult Mental Health Services

This program involves a minimum of 40 classroom hours and a 10 hour face to face clinical component. This program can only be taught by trainers approved the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services supports this program in the following ways:

  • Periodically update the curriculum.
  • Provide web-based information on upcoming trainings.
  • Maintain a list of approved trainers. New instructors must qualify for and successfully complete a 3-day Train-the-Trainer program.
  • Quality improvement. Staff will monitor course delivery and course evaluations completed and make suggestions/recommendations to trainers.
  • Certificates of completion are available online. Participant data will be stored and duplicate/replacement certificates can be issued upon request of a participant if unable to obtain on line.

Further information regarding this program may be obtained by contacting Robert.E.Carr@maine.gov